I’ve been involved in a few campaigns against the sexualisation of girls, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company act on complaints as quickly as this one did.
On Tuesday I posted a blog about a ‘tweenage’ push-up bra sold at Best & Less. A number of people got active and wrote to the company to protest. Adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg was one of them. Here’s his letter (warning, anyone offended by the term ‘cretin’ should not read further):
I am a child and adolescent psychologist who has worked for 25 years in the field. I am incandescent with rage with the bone brained individual in your company who thought it would be a brilliant idea to sell push up bras to prepubescent girls!
There are so many reasons why this runs counter to what we know is in the best interests of young girls – it is difficult to know where to start.
I can only refer you to the American Psychological Society Taskforce report on the impact of early sexualisation and hope that you reprimand the cretin who made this decision and immediately withdraw the product.
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
Then I received this response from Best & Less.
We are writing to you regarding your recent blog and comments relating to bras labelled “Tweenage”.
Best & Less prides itself on its strong family values and has strict guidelines relating to the sale of products for young people. As such Best & Less does not stock or sell push up bras for children.
The bras in question were intended to be a women’s petites range from sizes 8AA through to 12B. They were made to current Australian standards for women’s bras and were displayed in our women’s underwear department. Regrettably an error resulted in the incorrect branding and labeling of these bras as ‘Tweenage’. As a consequence, they were removed from sale in all of our stores across Australia as of yesterday, 2nd February.
We have taken procedural steps to avoid any future branding or labeling errors of this sort.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Best & Less
That’s one hell of an error in the branding and labeling department. But the company has at least responded to community concern and acted quickly, unlike others who have featured on this blog (responses from Roger David: zero).
I hope all of you who have taken any kind of action against corporate sexploitation will be encouraged by this outcome.